During a physical examination, a health care provider studies a patient's body to determine the presence or absence of physical problems.
A typical physical examination includes:
Inspection(looking at the body)
Palpation(feeling the body with fingers or hands)
Auscultation(listening to sounds)
Percussion(producing sounds, usually by tapping on specific areas of the body)
Review Date: 02/17/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.